Andor 1×06 “The Eye” ramps up the action in a way that feels very Star Wars, just as it tries to put into perspective what it is Cassian Andor truly wants. To be part of something? To find his sister? Justice for what was done to his people? Until now, the answers have been up in the air — more because it feels like Cassian doesn’t know what they are, than because the show doesn’t know. To tell this story, you have to know where it’s going and where and what needs to happen to take your main character where he needs to be.
“The Eye” is the turning point in the journey of Cassian Andor, the man who is content with looking out for number one. The episode ends without a clear answer, and with Cassian walking away, but even without the knowledge of what happens in Rogue One, it would still be clear to fans that this isn’t the end. It can’t be. Not for the Cassian who killed Skeen, or the man who seemed to clearly hold some regard for Nemik, if not his ideas.
A manifesto for later?
The idea that Cassian will, at some point, read Nemik’s manifesto and be convinced seems both obvious and a bit contrived. A young, idealistic person dies and that pushes someone older, more cynical, towards the right path isn’t a new storytelling device. But Cassian isn’t just motivated by Nemik, he can’t be. No one with Cassian’s background is motivated just by something that came so late in his life.
In truth, Cassian is a combination of things — and his response to Skeen in Andor 1×06 “The Eye” proves the idealism of Nemik might not be what drives him, but he isn’t truly a mercenary, either. He isn’t emotionally detached enough, and he has a code he follows, an idea of justice he clings to. He, after all, doesn’t take more than he was offered, and he doesn’t just leave Skeen around for Val to deal with. That wouldn’t be the right thing to do.
Cassian Andor doesn’t believe in the cause, not because the cause isn’t worthy, but because Cassian doesn’t believe in …well, anything. And that means, well it means there’s a chance for Cassian to be one of the Rebellion’s best assets if he can figure out how to trust in something bigger than himself once more.
The Empire as a colonizing force
One of the main ideas in the Original Trilogy was the idea of the Empire as a colonizing force. The prequels/sequels didn’t really explore this notion as much, but Andor leans on it as it showcases the day-to-day life of the people the Empire is trying to homogenize. In many ways, this is Cassian’s story too. He lost everything …family, home, and sense of belonging, because of the Empire.
In this sense, what Andor is doing is sending a political message, one that feels very, very relevant. The world is made up of very different people and there is strength and beauty in those differences. Learning to not just accept people in spite of those differences, but respect them because of them, would make everyone much better. But the Empire doesn’t care. They don’t learn, because they don’t have to. And the same can be true of some people in real-life politics.
A spark of change can only come when the Empire — and the people who are a direct correlation — are forced to change. You cannot ask the villains, fictional or otherwise, to be better, and then just sit and hope they change because you want them, much less need them to. Cassian Andor understands that. The Rebellion understands that. And hopefully, we do too.
This show might not really have the answer to how to solve this issue — but it is here to present a journey that can inspire us to be better. No matter who we are, and no matter where we are, there is always a way to rebel. One step at a time, one small moment after another.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of Andor 1×06 “The Eye”? Share with us in the comments below!
New episodes of Andor are available to stream Wednesdays on Disney+.